New group hopes to impact Allegany County trails


A new group from Allegany County is hoping to make an impact on the county’s trail system.

Allegany County has a vast resource of public lands and waterways that are used by various users for recreational activities. In 2019, the “Allegany County Trail Plan: A Guide to Future Trail Use and Development” was prepared for the Allegany County Legislature and Trails Working Group. In 2020, a survey was conducted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to determine who was using the West Almond Trail System and to identify trail maintenance and improvement needs. .

As a result of the survey and sensitization of citizens who provided voluntary trail maintenance on the West Almond trail network, a non-profit group was formed, “IMPACT: Friends Improving Allegany County Trails, Inc. ”

The mission of IMPACT: Friends Improving Allegany County Trails, Inc. is to conserve, improve and advocate year-round access to a diverse network of public trails and greenways in Allegany County.

“Our goal is to provide a unified voice to trail users in Allegany County,” said Pauline Burnes, Vice President / Secretary, “to coordinate the development and maintenance of high quality multi-use trails, throughout year, and educate the public on the trails of “Western New York Wilds”. Check out the Western NY Wilds in southern New York City ( ”

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The current board of directors is made up of professionals with various fields of expertise. Glenn Gebhard, President, is an educator and was part of the National Ski Patrol in Alpine and Nordic Skiing. He has been actively involved in training a team of volunteers who plan to maintain the Nordic ski trails in Phillip’s Creek this winter. Pauline Burnes, vice-president / secretary, is a landscape and equestrian architect. She acts as a volunteer DEC initiator, coordinates volunteer maintenance activities, and has written a successful grant proposal for improved drainage on Trail 4 of the West Almond Trail System; Gretchen Hanchett, Treasurer, is the Executive Director of the Greater Allegany Chamber of Commerce, sits on the Town of Amity Planning Council and is involved in other civic activities.

Councilors on the board include Ron Abraham, a retired DEC forester, who is actively involved in maintaining the popular WAG Trail; Jaqueline Mohrman, equestrian and lawyer who assists in trail maintenance on the West Almond and Coyle Hill trail systems; Gail Bartas, equestrian and snowmobiler, former president of the Allegany County Snowmobile Federation; Corey Fecteau, president of Tri-County Arts Council, Inc. and volunteer coordinator for Alfred University students; Alicia James, Volunteer Coordinator for People, Inc .; Pam Schu, an outdoor enthusiast who is interested in providing outdoor health and wellness opportunities to rural communities.

Mark your schedule for the next volunteer trail day scheduled for September 25, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the West Almond Trail System. The rainy date is September 26.

To follow current projects and volunteer trail maintenance opportunities, visit the Impact Friends Group | Facebook and Instagram


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